Archive for October, 2008

Richie Cunningham for Obama

Ciao Bloggisti!

 

I wasn’t going to post anything today but I just saw this clip and thought it was cute. I’m not American and I don’t know how many Americans actually read this blog but I thought you’d be interested to see just how far award-winning director Ron Howard went to support his favourite candidate, Barack Obama.

 

 

You’ll have to click on this link as I can’t post the video for some reason. The computer usually goes haywire right before the weekend!

  

Loved the dig at Sarah Palin!

 

That’s all folks!  Buon weekend!!!

24 October 2008 at 2:11 pm 4 comments

Ciao Davide!

Ciao Bloggisti!

Be still my beating Milanista heart, David Beckham might be coming to town in January!! It still hasn’t been officially confirmed but AC Milan’s vice-president Adriano Galliani announced today that the former England captain “wants to train and play for Milan.” If Beckham does decide to sign, he would only be on short-term loan from Los Angeles Galaxy, his current team.

Now, while the man doesn’t really set my loins afire (ugh, that voice!), I wouldn’t mind having some extra eye candy in the city. Hey, I just might run into him at the local H&M, rifling through the 3 for 1 underpants rack. Oops, I forgot! The only underwear he’s into is this:

As for the possible ramifications for AC Milan, personally, I don’t think Beckham would be a good fit for the team. They have all the players they need right now, like Ronaldinho and Kakà. And let’s not forget that Milan’s star playmaker, Andrea Pirlo, is on the road to recovery and should be back in December. But I’m sure Milan is just salivating at all the publicity as well as the merchandising they can sell with the Beckham name. Even though Becks is a great player, he and his family are basically a very successful brand, pimping their way around the world.

And what about the missus? Yes, Posh is loving the LA life right now but I’m sure she’s just gagging at the chance to present her “collection” during Milan fashion week in February. And I’ll bet my Sweet Tarts the freakoid TV producers in Italy are going to give Victoria her own reality show, Buongiorno Beckham. Just think of the possibilities!! Ooooh, I’m just imagining Posh negotiating Milan’s cobblestone streets in her sensible shoes. Or Mrs. Beckham and Berlusconi sitting side by side at San Siro stadium. Oh, what a pretty couple they would make! They’re even the same shade of orange!!

You know what, I wouldn’t mind Beckham playing in Milan just for the drama alone. Who cares about soccer! Bring on the Beckhams!!!

                                                                                 

22 October 2008 at 10:39 pm 8 comments

What’s going on?

Ciao Bloggisti

Let me talk about something serious for once. I know most of you read these blogs because you’re fascinated by Italy. And I get it. I really do. It’s one of the reasons I moved here. The picturesque towns, the history, culture, the food. But over the last two months, a lot of things have been happening in the Bel Paese that have really started to get me worried:

September 2008

– 19 year old Abdul William Guibre, born in Burkina Faso but raised in Italy, was beaten to death by the owners of a Milan bar because he was suspected of stealing a package of cookies. The attackers shouted insults like, “We going to kill you you dirty n******!”

– a Chinese man was beaten up during an unprovoked attack in Rome

– AC Milan’s goalkeeper Cristian Abbiati announced he was a Fascist

– upon leaving school for the afternoon a 22 year old Ghanian student was mistaken for a drug dealer and was savagely beaten up and insulted with racial epithets by civic police in Parma

– six African immigrants were shot and killed in Castel Volturno. The attack was apparently ordered by the Neapolitan mafia.

October 2008

– during a World Cup qualifying match in Bulgaria, Italian fans set a Bulgarian flag on fire during the national anthem and made fascist salutes

– Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano met with Pope Benedict XVI and called for the Church and State to work together to combat racism

– the lower house of parliament approved a plan to create separate classes for immigrant children. Foreign students would have to take a special exam before being allowed to attend classes with Italian pupils

– Roberto Saviano, author of Gomorrah, the best-selling exposé of the Neapolitan mafia, vowed to leave Italy after an assassination plot was recently uncovered

Pretty disturbing stuff. I didn’t want to get you down before the weekend but I believe it’s important to share this information. I know it’s a particular, complicated moment for the world in general but these things cannot and should not be happening here in the 21st century. Despite all this, I still haven’t lost hope in the Italian people.

Let me leave you with the words and music of two great men, Mahatma Gandhi and Marvin Gaye

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it–always.” Mahatma Gandhi

17 October 2008 at 12:33 am 3 comments

Around the world in one city

Ciao Bloggisti!*
When I was back home in Toronto last August, the fam and I went to Centre Island for the afternoon. It’s a favourite summer destination as it has lovely picnic areas, an amusement park and one of the best views of the downtown skyline. Anyway, as I was waiting in line for the ferry, I started to get bored and had a look around me.  And what I saw was incredible. It was like a live-action ad for the United Colours of Benetton. There were Jamaicans, Chinese, South Asians, Koreans, Italians, North Africans, Hasidic Jews and, ahem, “mangiacakes”, all standing in line together for the Island Ferry, their coolers and backpacks bursting with goodies, just like so many Torontonians have done for generations. It was all so wonderfully Canadian!
Being the foodie freak that I am, I was just dying to take a peek at what all those people had in their culinary stash. And I also thought, wouldn’t it be great to have a communal picnic right then and there, passing around the bindaetteok , samosas and potato salad.  In my opinion, nothing brings a country together better than food. This summer I can safely say I was well-trained in the art of nation-building with all the great things I chowed down on during my trip to Toronto and Ottawa. I took pictures of most of the food I ate on my trip (much to the chagrin of friends and family) but here are just a few shots of the memorable dishes I had. And since October 14 is Election Day in Canada, I thought it would be a great reminder of how diversity has become as Canadian as the Nanaimo Bar.
Arugula salad – Torito Tapas Bar, Toronto
Arugula , manchego cheese , roasted almond salad with quince vinaigrette

Mini pappadums, Brampton

My aunt’s spicy barbequed fish

Kerala-style barbequed fish

Butter tarts! A Canadian classic.

Butter tarts

My favourite: chunky, greasy french fries

Fresh-cut fries and ketchup

Appetizers – Omonia Restaurant, Greektown, Toronto

Three-dip pita platter with tzatziki, humus and melitzanosalata

Canada, vote well!!! Mi raccomando!!!!!!

* Update: I just found out that today is Blog Action Day, an annual, non-profit event aimed at raising awareness on global issues. This years Blog Action Day is dedicated to Poverty. I didn’t have enough time to write a post about the poverty but I urge you to watch the video below and do whatever you can to spread the word.

15 October 2008 at 12:00 am 2 comments

Happy Birthday John!!

Ciao Bloggisti!

 

Today is the 68th anniversary of the birth of one of my favourite artists, John Lennon. I cannot even begin to describe how much he and his music influenced me and how much his presence is missed.

 

 

This year I was lucky enough to visit his hometown, Liverpool, as I mentioned in June. It was amazing to wander around his old stomping grounds, see his childhood home, kiss the ground of the church hall where he met Paul McCartney, etc. 

 

So, to celebrate good ole Johnny’s birthday, I’ve been listening to his music and watching funny clips all morning. It’s put me in such a good mood that I’d like to share the love with all my friends in the blogosphere!

 

This first video is from a bizarre 1964 Swedish press conference. John is presenting his book “In His Own Write” along with his four friends George Parasol, Ringo Stone and Paul McCharmly.  The interviewer is clueless and John and George are quite yummy, don’t you think?

 

 

 

The next one is one of my favourite solo songs, “Nobody Told Me“. It’s a fun video featuring John, Yoko, Sean Lennon (happy birthday to you, too!), a Canadian flag and Jack Palance (?).

 

 

So, what are your favourite John Lennon songs? What do you think he would be doing today if he were alive?

9 October 2008 at 12:08 pm 3 comments

My new love!

Ciao Bloggisti!

I’ve been meaning to tell you something for the last few days but didn’t know how to go about it. I sometimes find it hard to share my innermost feelings with people. You know how it is. But now I’m about to burst so here goes… I’m in love…. with a pair of boots!! There, I said it!!!

Nice, eh? I bought these babies on Saturday with the help of my trusty shoe expert Bellie. She may be only 5 years old but she knows her stuff. I got them at Bagatt, a  well-known chain of shoe stores in Northern Italy. The word bagatt actually means cobbler in Milanese dialect. I love the shoes here because they look great, the prices are reasonable and most importantly, they’re soooo comfortable. I have a pair of black Bagatt pumps and I swear I could run a marathon in them!

I was about to get a pair of gorgeous thigh-high suede boots but opted for practicality instead. Let’s face it, a busy mother of two small kids cannot wear suede footwear unless they’re Hush Puppies. And while I’m at it, a busy mother of three should NOT wear six-inch stilettos to the mall!!! Sorry, I digress. Anyway, when I saw these stacked-heeled lovelies, I just couldn’t have anything else. As far as the comfort factor goes, I’d give them an 8 considering I wore them for a few hours Saturday evening, walking on the cobblestones in the Naviglio district and my feet weren’t in pain by the end of the night. Not too shabby.

So the next time you’re in the Milan area, Bellie and I will be more than happy to take you round to our favourite cobbler.

Sorry if this post has been purely self-indulgent with no redeeming qualities whatsoever but what’s the point of living in Da Boot if you can’t express some bootie love 😉

That is all.

8 October 2008 at 1:12 am 9 comments

Gnocco fritto and Vasco

Ciao Bloggisti!

How was your weekend? Mine was fun and fat-filled because we went out for a friend’s birthday to a restaurant specializing in gnocco fritto. Gnocchi fritti are fried dough, sort of like mini beaver tails (if you don’t know what those are, check out Frutto della Passione’s description of this classic Canadian snack). The Italian version is from the Emilia-Romagna region and is eaten warm, accompanied by an assortment of coldmeats like prosciutto crudo, culatello, and salami. We went to the Gnocco Fritto 2 restaurant in Milan’s Naviglio area and they just kept serving basket after basket of the fried wonders. Not only did we have generous helpings of coldmeats, we also filled our gnocchi with some lovely soft cheeses like gorgonzola, taleggio and torta alpina.  I would post pictures of our meal but my husband forgot to bring the camera!! GRRRRRR!! Anyway, you’ll just have to imagine it for yourselves. (In retaliation, one day I’m going to dig up some old pictures of my husband dressed in drag for Carnival and post those!)

After dinner we went out for drinks at a nearby bar. Since it was Saturday night, of course there was a band playing cover songs far too loudly for my aging ears, making it almost impossible for me to talk to my friends. So I was kind of forced to listen to the music. Much to my surprise, the band wasn’t half-bad. They played the usual Top Ten, some Amy Winehouse,  Duffy, etc. But the guy did a spot on imitation of Vasco Rossi. For those of you who don’t know, Vasco (aka Blasco) is one of Italy’s most hard-living, hard-rocking singer/songwriters. And like the gnocco fritto, he hails from Emilia. I wanted to post a video of one of Vasco’s biggest hits, Albachiara, but I couldn’t find anything except unofficial concert footage. However, I did find something unusual that might be appreciated by those of you studying Italian. This is a video set to Albachiara but done in sign language by a man called Daniele. I don’t know much about signing but I thought he did a fantastic job at interpreting the song.

And aren’t his eyes expressive? Ah, there’s nothing like good music to start the week off right!

Buon lunedì!!

6 October 2008 at 5:29 pm 8 comments


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